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Episode 0182: Terror is the Only Justice

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”From this a dispute arises whether it is better to be loved than feared, or the reverse. The response is that one would want to be both the one and the other; but because it is difficult to put them together, it is much safer to be feared than loved, if one has to lack one of the two.” –Niccolo Machiavelli

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been working tirelessly to increase the knowledge of THIEF among the citizens of Europa. The name of THIEF will soon strike fear in the hearts of spawn farmers, PvPers, and script miners alike. Sadly, throughout the course of my travels, I have repeatedly encountered a troubling misconception, held by the Euopans that I have met: many believe that being a thief is all fun-filled, grief-indulged games. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Being a thief is hard work! To those doubters who would question the validity of my words, I challenging you: go spend 10 hours snooping packs filled with nothing but aids, pots, and apples; go snatch up a 120 tactics scroll in Despise, only to be blocked by hordes of magical fields, chased down by a pack of spawners, and ruthlessly slaughtered; worse still, try providing Europa with the cheapest power scrolls available, with the full realization that no matter how thrifty your prices, you will nevertheless be forever hated. Walk a mile in my shoes, as I help myself to yours.

Where was I? Oh, yes, making myself feared and hated.

Attention Europan tamers, the Feluccan Jhelom animal pens are property of THIEF. Allowances may be made for some travelers, but conditions and/or rent are guaranteed to apply. Should you fail to follow these stipulations, you will be evicted . . . in unusual, often painful, sometimes kinky ways. Consider the following case as an example of what might happen, should you fail to comply.

I was making my rounds last week, checking local spawns and moongates, without much luck. Europa appeared to be asleep – even the Yew gate was deserted. I was about to conclude my patrol, when I came across the Illustrious of Hardcore, Grandmaster Tailor, parading around THIEF’s pens as if she owned the place.

She seemed like a nice girl – somewhat plain in appearance, only noteworthy if you’re into the whole girl-next-door look – but I could not give in to my sympathies just because the Good Lord made her ugly. If I allowed her to kill my livestock unmolested, I would have to make the same exception for others. Justice demanded action, and as the French revolutionary Robespierre noted, “Terror is the only justice.”

I made my approach.

Finding nothing in her backpack to compensate for her trespassing, I spoke . . .

. . . and was promptly ignored.

I smoothed my hair, adjusted my robe, and approached her again, preparing to speak in my gentlest, suavest of voices. Suddenly, before I could utter a word, she remarked, “Bye be.” Bye be? What is this bye be? I was dumbfounded. The wheels in my head were spinning, as I attempted to decipher this cryptic message, when she abruptly commanded her pets on me. How dare she! Clearly, envy drove this girl to madness - why else would she attempt to damage this immaculate face?

The nerve of this girl! And yet, I reminded myself that perhaps she had been startled. Breathing deep, I set aside my anger. Perhaps I came on too strong. Perhaps my rakish good looks and charm made her ugly, over-fed, bear-head-wearing self envious. Whatever her explanation, I decided to show her mercy and extend kindness, until . . .

. . . until I learned that she’d looted me dry! She took my smoke bombs – every last one. No one takes my smoke bombs. Enraged, I threw meekness to the wind, applied a dose of poison to my blade, equipped the appropriate talisman, and prepared to strike.

Ah, there we are. Once again, all is right with the world.

Being the nice thief that I am, I left her unicorns be . . . ok, I lied, I killed them. However, that certainly did not excuse her return to the pens later that evening. What would it take to make her learn her lesson? I was certain that some creative diplomacy or smooth talking would do the trick, but killing her again just seemed easier.

I decided to leave her a message. To be fair, I could not expect her to comprehend my spoken words – the poor girl could barely stand in my intimidating presence. Yes, I would leave her a message – something that she could take home with her. I would even autograph it for her, so that she could show her friends.

Europa patrolled? Check. Ego stroked? Check. Blood shed? Double check. I knew that I would be hated for this incident, but at least my livestock was protected.

All in a days work.

-Locke Smythe

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